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CONTENTS Issue #624
Book Review: Celebrating 75 Extraordinary Years
TV Review: Bang Goes the Theory
BioNews Appeal: Please donate HERE to keep BioNews independent and FREE to read

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Welcome to BioNews by email, published by the Progress Educational Trust, providing you with news, comment and reviews on genetics, assisted conception, embryo/stem cell research and related areas. 

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Reflections on the ethical debate surrounding non-invasive prenatal genetic diagnosis
12 September 2011 - by Professor Vardit Ravitsky
An up-and-coming technology will soon allow genetic testing of a fetus with a simple maternal blood test early in the first trimester of the pregnancy by isolating cell-free fetal DNA in the mother's plasma. Currently, obtaining reliable diagnostic genetic information requires invasive testing with Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) or amniocentesis. Both carry a risk of miscarriage and are performed between weeks 10 and 20 of the pregnancy... [Read More]
Can you trust your surrogacy lawyer?
12 September 2011 - by Natalie Gamble
Theresa Erickson, a high profile Californian attorney specialising in assisted reproduction law (self-styled online and in the media as 'the surrogacy lawyer') pleaded guilty last month to charges relating to her involvement in a baby selling scam. The case has sent shock waves through the US assisted reproduction law community, which is reeling at the disgrace of one of its best known members... [Read More]
Examining cells in zebrafish model offers new hope for cancer
12 September 2011 - by Mehmet Fidanboylu
It is hoped that a new method for studying cell development could lead to cures for diseases such as cancer, UK scientists have reported... [Read More]
Clue to baldness found in skin stem cells of mice
5 September 2011 - by Dr Kimberley Bryon-Dodd
Fat cells may hold the key to triggering hair growth, US researchers have found. They discovered that a layer of fat cells under the skin of mice sends chemical messages to stem cells, instructing them to grow hair... [Read More]
Best practice guidelines encourage genetic information sharing
12 September 2011 - by Julianna Photopoulos
A new report published by the Royal College of Physicians, Royal College of Pathologists and British Society for Human Genetics has encouraged the sharing of genetic information between family members and healthcare professionals as part of good clinical practice.... [Read More]
Chronic pain gene discovery may improve treatment
12 September 2011 - by Dr Nadeem Shaikh
A single gene may play a major role in how we perceive pain, UK scientists have discovered. Research published in the journal Science, by a team from the University of Cambridge, shows that the HCN2 gene may be a vital target for future pharmacological research into pain relief... [Read More]
First mammalian stem cells grown with only one set of chromosomes
12 September 2011 - by Dr Lux Fatimathas
UK researchers have for the first time created mouse embryonic stem cells using just one set of chromosomes. Most mammalian cells, except sperm and eggs, are diploid, meaning they contain two sets of chromosomes. The ability to produce haploid cells, that contain only one set of chromosomes, may prove helpful in revealing the different functions of our genes.... [Read More]
A stem cell injection to mend a broken heart?
12 September 2011 - by Rosie Beauchamp
An Australian company has announced it has received regulatory approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to begin phase II trials for its cardiovascular stem cell treatment, Revascor.... [Read More]
Unwrapping the mystery behind BRCA1
12 September 2011 - by Sarah Pritchard
Researchers based in the USA and the Netherlands report study findings that may explain why women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene are more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer... [Read More]
'Win A Baby' competition on Canadian radio station condemned
12 September 2011 - by Kyrillos Georgiadis
A Canadian radio station has caused shock by announcing a competition in which contestants will compete for the chance to win a baby. The event is even being promoted by an advert featuring a baby holding up a sign saying 'Win me!'... [Read More]
Genetic screening by nurses reduces specialist referrals
12 September 2011 - by Dr Zara Mahmoud
Using nurses to pre-screen people for genetic risk of cancer, cardiac or endocrine disease before they're sent to specialist services can reduce referrals by up to 75 percent, a preliminary trial has found.... [Read More]
Book Review: Celebrating 75 Extraordinary Years
12 September 2011 - by Oliver Timmis
On 25 July 2011 the Wellcome Trust turned 75, and to celebrate they have commissioned a collection of 15 stories based on some of the most interesting people they have funded... [Read More]
TV Review: Bang Goes the Theory
12 September 2011 - by Daniel Malynn
Presenter Liz Bonnin investigates stem cells, and their pioneering use in organ donation. Bonnin's introduction the segment covers briefly, but accurately, the 30 years worth of history of stem cell research, and the controversy around embryonic stem cell research... [Read More]

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